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James W. Johnston (search for this): chapter 12
thirty-two men killed and a large number wounded. Captain Butts was wounded in the advance upon the works, and while being assisted to the rear was again hit and instantly killed. Major Galpin, Captains Kidder, Jackson and Cronkite and Lieutenants Foote, Johnson and Tucker were wounded. Lieutenant Foote was wounded while trying to turn the guns of the battery just captured upon the enemy. He fell into the hands of the enemy, and was for a long time supposed to have been killed. Lieut. Jas. W. Johnston, on mounting the parapet, had a bayonet thrust through one of his thighs when raising his sword to strike down the Confederate who had thrust the bayonet through him. The Rebel begged for mercy, was spared, and sent to the rear a prisoner. The reason given at the time among the soldiers, why the supporting division did not arrive as expected was that the commanding officer was intoxicated. Whether the report was true or not, it is certain that he did drink to excess, for on ano
Jim Johnston (search for this): chapter 12
fire the second time, and a rapid but scattering fire ran along the works which we reached in another instant. One of our officers in front of us jumped on the top log and shouted, Come on, men, and pitched forward and disappeared, shot. I followed an instant after and the men swarmed upon, and over the works on each side of me. As I got on top some Rebs jumped up from their side and began to run back. Some were lunging at our men with their bayonets and a few had their guns clubbed. Jim Johnston, Oaks and Hassett, were wounded by bayonets. One squad, an officer with them, were backing away from us, the officer firing his revolver at our men. I fired into them, jumped down into the pits and moved out toward them. Just at this time, our second line came up and we received another volley from the line in front of us and the battery fired one charge of cannister. Colonel Upton shouted Forward and we all ran towards the battery, passing another line of works, and the men in them pa
Jesse Jones (search for this): chapter 12
or ran away after firing into us. Continuing we ran over the battery taking it and its men prisoners, and on beyond, until there was nothing in our front, except some tents by the roadside and there was no firing upon us for a few moments, of any magnitude. I looked into the ammunition chest of the battery to see if I could find something to put in the vents of the guns to prevent their being fired again in case we had to leave them. There were several of our company there. I remember Jesse Jones and Dorr Davenport, Johnny Woodward, Judson A. Chapin and I think they took the wheels off one of the guns, and I broke off a twig in the vents of two guns, but we were ordered to go to the works and moved to the right. While moving as ordered, some Rebel troops came up and fired a volley into us. We got on the other side of the rifle pits and began firing at them and checked their advance. It was now duskish and it seemed as though the firing on our front and to our right became heavie
John S. Kidder (search for this): chapter 12
shed all that could be expected of brave men. They went forward with perfect confidence, fought with unflinching courage, and retired only on receipt of a written order, after having expended the ammunition of their dead and wounded comrades. In this engagement the 121st had one officer and thirty-two men killed and a large number wounded. Captain Butts was wounded in the advance upon the works, and while being assisted to the rear was again hit and instantly killed. Major Galpin, Captains Kidder, Jackson and Cronkite and Lieutenants Foote, Johnson and Tucker were wounded. Lieutenant Foote was wounded while trying to turn the guns of the battery just captured upon the enemy. He fell into the hands of the enemy, and was for a long time supposed to have been killed. Lieut. Jas. W. Johnston, on mounting the parapet, had a bayonet thrust through one of his thighs when raising his sword to strike down the Confederate who had thrust the bayonet through him. The Rebel begged for mer
G. W. C. Lee (search for this): chapter 12
ion with the enemy, and suffered several casualties. On the 10th of May the regiment formed a part of the first line of an assault on the entrenchments of the enemy, which was brilliantly successful and ought to have resulted in the utter rout of Lee's army. The account of this sanguinary assault is best begun by quoting Colonel Upton's official report of it: The point of attack was at an angle near the Scott House, about half a mile from the Spottsylvania road. The enemy's entrenchmg column was superb. There was not a single miscarry in the whole affair. The men behaved with splendid courage and skill, which had made them famous throughout the army. The Rebels fought desperately and were accounted as good as there were in Lee's army. That night after we had corrected our formation and put our lines in order, for an anticipated counter attack, I met Upton at Corps headquarters, and found him much depressed over the result, of what had promised such a brilliant succes
selected handed it to Colonel Upton, and said, Upton what do you think of that for a command? Colonel Upton took the list, ran his eyes over it and said, I golly, Mack, that is a splendid command. They are the best men in the army. He said Upton you are to lead those men upon the enemy's works this afternoon, and if you do not carry them you are not expected to come back, but if you carry them I am authorized to say that you will get your stars. Colonel Upton in reply said, Mack, I will carry those works. If I don't I will not come back. The staff officer then told him of the troops and batteries that would cooperate with him in the attack, and of td Colonel Upton was, with the duty assigned him, and also said that he was one of the most enthusiastic soldiers he ever knew. As Colonel Upton rode away he said, Mack, I'll carry those works. They cannot repulse those regiments. After Colonel Upton rode away, I was busy getting batteries into position and moving troops to po
George G. Meade (search for this): chapter 12
ome distance. He said, I'll tell you why. On the 9th of May I rode with General Wright to army headquarters. When we arrived there we found Generals Grant, Meade and several others, and shortly after our arrival General Meade informed General Wright that he had ordered a general attack along the whole line for 4 o'clock onGeneral Meade informed General Wright that he had ordered a general attack along the whole line for 4 o'clock on the following day, and ordered him to attack on his front at the same time. But he wanted him to organize a column of assault, consisting of twelve or fifteen picked regiments from the Corps, making the attack at the point which he should select, and point out to him. He would carefully reconnoiter the enemy's line and have an enharge it was the understanding that if he took the works he was to win his stars. Now I think he ought to have them. So with his permission, I telegraphed to General Meade, asking if he would not request the commanding general to promote Colonel Upton to brigadier general. The general responded, Certainly, and wired Washington t
Francis W. Morse (search for this): chapter 12
passed along to get ready, then Fall in, and then Forward. I felt my gorge rise, and my stomach and intestines shrink together in a knot, and a thousand things rushed through my mind. I fully realized the terrible peril I was to encounter (gained from previous experience). I looked about in the faces of the boys around me, and they told the tale of expected death. Pulling my cap down over my eyes, I stepped out, the extreme man on the left of the regiment, except Sergeant Edwards and Adjutant Morse who was on foot. In a few seconds we passed the skirmish line and moved more rapidly, the officers shouting Forward and breaking into a run immediately after we got into the field a short distance. As soon as we began to run the men, unmindful of, or forgetting orders, commenced to yell, and in a few steps farther the rifle pits were dotted with puffs of smoke, and men began to fall rapidly and some began to fire at the works, thus losing the chance they had to do something, when they
balls seemed to come from all directions and was incessant. I said to the man next to me I guess our men are firing from the first line. We had better go back there. I don't believe our men carried the works on the left. (We had been told that Mott's division and a division of the Ninth Corps were to charge immediately after us if we carried the works in our front.) He answered The fire is all from the Rebs. In a moment a battery opened upon us and we fell back to the first line over which aking the attack at the point which he should select, and point out to him. He would carefully reconnoiter the enemy's line and have an engineer officer locate the most favorable point of attack. General Wright was informed that Burnside's Corps, Mott's division, and a portion of the Fifth Corps would cooperate with him on both his flanks, and to seize any opportunity his success might afford to crush and drive out the enemy in his front. With this order and understanding General Wright rode a
Egbert Olcott (search for this): chapter 12
Chapter 10: the tenth of May May 10th assault capture of enemy's works failure of support Orderly withdrawal responsibility for failure Colonel Olcott wounded and captured Upton's promotion to Brig. General. the Bloody angle From the 5th to the 10th of May the regiment, with the brigade, occupied several positions of importance, covering the left wing of the army, and on two occasions came into skirmish action with the enemy, and suffered several casualties. On the 10th of May the regiment formed a part of the first line of an assault on the entrenchments of the enemy, which was brilliantly successful and ought to have resulted in the utter rout of Lee's army. The account of this sanguinary assault is best begun by quoting Colonel Upton's official report of it: The point of attack was at an angle near the Scott House, about half a mile from the Spottsylvania road. The enemy's entrenchments were of formidable character, with abatis in front, and surmount
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